Thursday, March 23, 2006

Five Questions With...Stephenie Meyer

We're back with STEPHENIE MEYER

Your inspiration for Twilight began as a dream. Tell us a little bit about the dream.

My dream is fairly accurately transcribed in Chapter 13 of Twilight--the scene in the meadow. I dreamed of a boy and a girl in a sunny open space in a deep wood. The boy was beautiful, had sparkly skin, and was a vampire--yes, I was handed Edward's character on a silver platter in that dream! He was fully rounded and compelling from the very start. The girl was just your average girl--and she was (no surprise) totally in love with this beautiful vampire. They were talking about the difficulties of the relationship in my dream, just confessing their love for the first time. I was completely caught up in their story. When I woke up, (after I got over my disappointment in the dream being ended) I laid in bed imagining what would happen to them next. I didn't want to forget these two people (they seemed very real to me already), so I went to my computer and wrote the dream down. The final version of chapter thirteen hasn't changed very much from my original dream log.

Do you have a favorite scene or moment in Twilight? What is it and why?

The meadow scene is a favorite, for obvious reasons. I also love the conversation Bella and Edward have in Port Angeles and on the way home. It was such a tense moment--the first time that Edward let's his guard down a little bit--and so much fun to write. And then, the end where Bella is hurt and Edward seems like an angel to her--that part always puts a lump in my throat.

What is your normal writing process? Do you meticulously plot each and every scene? Is your style more ‘by the seat of your pants?’

With Twilight, my writing process was as 'by the seat of your pants' as anyone could possibly get. I started writing from that scene in the middle, and then just kept writing without ever thinking much about what would happen next. The personalities of the characters sort of dictated the plot, and I felt like I was just along for the ride. And what a great ride! I was completely obsessed the whole time I was writing Twilight, and I loved every minute of it. When I got to the end, I went back and wrote the first twelve chapters (I didn't think it would take so long!) of exposition. I had a slightly better idea of my direction at that point, but I still was really just telling myself a story and making it up as I went. It's amazing that the story flows coherently at all!

Since Twilight, I've had to be a little bit better at organization. With the sequels to Twilight, I wrote from loose outlines. I wrote out of order, writing the most exciting scenes first. I've written another book (neither YA nor vampire); I wrote that one from a tighter outline and in chronological order. I'm so new at this that I don't have a "normal" process yet. I'm still experimenting.

Twilight’s sequel, New Moon, skips forward in time several months from the end of Twilight. Why did you feel this jump was necessary? Was there nothing happening to Bella and Edward besides that rush of new love? *sigh*

You nailed it. Pure happiness is wonderful to live, but kind of boring to read about. I skipped ahead to the point where conflict rears its head again, initially in the form of Bella's eighteenth birthday (Bella isn't excited by aging, as you might imagine). The summer was fairly ideal for Bella and Edward--it was the happiest time of both their lives.

Following New Moon, there will be a third story in the Twilight trilogy. What’s up next in your career? Will you revisit the core Twilight characters once the trilogy is complete? Any new characters demanding their stories be told?

I plan to continue Bella and Edward's story past book three. {Jana says Yay!} I will drift away from Bella and Edward eventually, after their story is resolved. There are several new characters with great futures ahead of them. One in particular was introduced in Twilight, another makes her first appearance (it's a cameo--blink and you've missed it!) in New Moon, and yet another won't show up until the end of book three (or maybe not until book four!). The story is still fluid though, so this could all change. I'm still making things up as I go along!

Outside of the Twilight characters, I'm working on several other projects. I've written an adult sci-fi, I have pieces of a YA romance/comedy, a long synopsis for a chick lit, an outline for a paranormal murder mystery, and a bunch of other brainstorms in my disorganized files. I love to read everything, so I imagine I'll try my hand at writing everything, too.


{I wanted to ask if Edward bites Bella because Nadia Cornier and I both agree (via a discussion on her LiveJournal) that we don’t see a 70-year-old woman in a relationship with a 17-year-old, but I didn’t. That would be the biggest spoiler and part of me would be so disappointed if I found out ahead of schedule. I’ll just have to read the books...which I'm more than eager to do!}


Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

I just wanted to say belatedly that I picked up an ARC of Twilight at BEA last year and I thought it was just excellent.

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